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Global MR Industry Valued at $76bn

October 11 2018

Global turnover for research and insight in the year 2017 was $76bn, compared to $71.5bn in 2016, according to the latest ESOMAR Global Market Research Report (GMR). The figure includes a substantial sum from analytics and other 'new' research methodologies.

Finn RabenThe GMR measures the turnover of the industry at national, regional and global levels, and this year's report includes turnover generated from the data analytics sector, where available. In 2017, the traditional market research sector grew just 1% to $46bn, up from $44.5 bn in 2016. The rate of growth has fallen since last year, when it was 2.3% after inflation - the fastest rate of growth since 2010. However, when combined with 'new' research methodologies, such as data analytics, the annual global turnover for research and insight in 2017 was $76 bn.

Regionally, only the European market saw a decline, as net growth fell to -0.4%. The UK's market share has declined in the past three years, sliding from 17% to 14%, although turnover is still a quarter more than Germany and France combined. The Middle East and Asia Pacific were the two fastest growing regions, with the Middle East increasing by 2.9%, followed closely by Asia Pacific at 2.6% year on year. Within APAC, China continues to dominate with 6% growth. North America saw an improvement in growth from 1% in 2016 to 1.5% in 2017, and Latin America and Africa saw growth of 1.4% (compared to 1.6% in 2016). Several smaller markets saw growth rates of over 10%, including Kazakhstan (19.9%), Myanmar (13.8%) and Laos (13.7%).

The five largest individual markets were:

Market Turnover (US $ m)
% of Global Market
USA 20,230 44
UK 6,498 14
Germany 2,766 6
France 2,362 5
China 1,965 5


Globally, quantitative research accounted for 81% of spend (up strongly on the previous year), while qualitative research spend dropped by 1% to 14%. Qual spend in the USA dropped 3% from 18% last year, while quantitative research grew to 80%. In 2017, the top ten research companies - led by Nielsen - accounted for almost 50% of the world's market research turnover (not including analytics), with a total revenue of US $22.76 bn.
Finn Raben (pictured), Director General of ESOMAR, said of the findings: 'Despite forecasts that the research profession is in decline, this year's Global Market Research report shows that our industry continued to grow in 2017, albeit a little more slowly. Promisingly, we see growth both from within the traditionally defined research sector, but also from the newer, expanded definition of our industry - continued evidence that the demand for actionable, evidence-based data and insight remains strong'.
Web site: www.esomar.com .

All articles 2006-18 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.

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